Obama: Bad for Israel

September 18, 2016

As usual Gideon Levy today  tells some diaspora Jews what they do not want to hear.

This continual support for an oppressive state which eats up one quarter of  the USA’s foreign aid is a scandal

Imagine indeed what 38 billion could do for Africa.

The cowardice of politicos like Obama, Governor Cuomo, NY mayor Di Blasio is shameful.

Barack Obama is a bad president for Israel. If the military aid he approved for the coming decade is the largest ever, then as a president he is the worst ever for Israel. The last thing Israel needs is more arms, which will push it toward more acts of violence. But Obama is president in a country in which each home has a small tin container — like the blue and white Jewish National Fund boxes over here — into which every U.S. citizen must place a few coins as assistance and charity for poor, needy Israel, weak as a frail leaf.
Three hundred dollars for each U.S. taxpayer for the next 10 years. Not toward America’s considerable social needs, not to assist truly needy countries – imagine what $38 billion would do for Africa – but to provide weapons for an army that is one of the most powerfully armed in the world, one of whose main enemies are girls brandishing scissors; to finance an army that is not fighting any other serious army now; the army of a country that few others can match in sheer recalcitrance, one which methodically defies the United States and the international community. And worst of all, this country will receive another free gift, without having to give anything in return. The money will go only toward arming it, which will push it toward more acts of aggression. That’s the deal and there has been no serious debate over it, neither in Israel nor in the United States.

 

Starving the War Machine

September 15, 2016

Chris Hedges in his latest missive writes:

The multibillion-dollar extravaganza of our electoral Circus Maximus is part of the smokescreen that covers the ongoing devastation of globalization, deindustrialization, trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, endless war, climate change and the intrusion into every corner of our lives by the security and surveillance state. Our democracy is dead. Clinton and Donald Trump do not have the power or the interest to revive it. They kneel before the war machine, which consumes trillions of dollars to wage futile wars and bankroll a bloated military. To defy the fortress state is political suicide. Politicians are courtiers to Wall Street. The candidates mouth the clichés of justice, improvements in income equality and democratic choice, but it is a cynical game. Once it is over, the victors will go to Washington to work with the lobbyists and financial elites to carry out the real business of ruling.

 

A good example of the above is the latest propping up of Israel apartheid. One is hard pressed to understand foreign aid sent to a wealthy country. Think of all the desperately poor countries who could use this money.

 

Out of luck. they are just poor and “Christian” America needs “strategic”allies like Israel a US surrogate, the country which has advanced the science and technology of penning people up and monitoring their every movement.
The United States will be giving Israel $38 billion in military aid to Israel.

Hilary Trump

Under the new agreement, Israel will be receiving $38 billion in military equipment from the United States, amounting to $3.8 billion per year over a ten-year period from 2019 to 2029, according to Haaretz. The current US/Israel military aid package, which is due to expire in 2018, originally allotted roughly $3.1 billion per year in subsidies to Israel’s military. Congress recently voted to increase that aid by $500 million annually. $5 billion of the new $38 billion deal is expected to be spent on missile defense systems.

 

Budgets as we know are moral document and the amount of money spent on the US empire with its bases all over the world continues to be a mortal sin given the domestic needs of not only its own people but other poor countries. Why underwrite an advanced country like Israel? Why spend so much money on war preparation?

 

Bernie Sanders quixotic presidential run was too idealistic for the bought and paid for US Congress— free college education, raise the minimum wage to $15, expand Social Security and address the widening income and wealth gap and the criminal justice system. Dream on Bernie. Spending on these things would starve the war machine.

where-to-invade-next-poster
Michael Moore’s lovely film Where to Invade Next reminded Americans that many of these “unrealistic” and “socialist” ideals become a reality in many European countries. This will hardly dent the thick heads of Trump supporters who still believe America is the land of opportunity, the exceptional nation.

 
The military boondoggle and the outrageous gifts to Israel is obscene. According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and National Priorities Project, 53.71 percent, or $598 billion, of the discretionary spending in 2015 was on the military, more than the combined spending on education, medical care and health, housing and community, energy and environment, transportation, science, food and agriculture, veterans’ benefits and government.

 

It is to weep.

Prayer of gratitude: teachers!

September 12, 2016

 

back

 

In several Anglican parishes there is the blessing of the back packs for the young ones going back to school .I do not know if RC parishes do this.

A nice liturgical overture. It got me thinking.
At mass on Sunday my prayer was for the gratitude of teachers who more and more find themselves in loco parentis. The highest pratyer is always one of gratitude.
Teachers today are faced with heavier burdens than other generations and in particular God bless those marvellous elementary teachers who step up when divorce rates have skied. More and more kids are acting out in classes because they demand the attention they do not get at home.Into the breach,teachers adding what is not on the curriculum TLC.

 

A few years ago the teachers’ union in New Zealand reported that of those 80 percent, 64 percent spent up to $200 a year, 22 percent spent up to $500 and 14 percent spent $500 or more per year. Similar results in Ontario.

 

There is an apartment building a block north of our Catholic community and here I pointed it out . There was no plaque honouring Mary Sheehan my grade six teacher, a woman way ahead of her time. No Walk of Fame for teachers but a lot of low level gratitude all over the world.
Not only did she pound out that Note Dame Fighting song on that old piano
Cheer cheer for old Notre Dame
Wake Up the echoes cheering her name

This was a time when Notre Dame gave Catholics a sense of pride when Toronto was Little Belfast. Miss Sheehan also taught us our Latin after school so we could become altar boys.

Mary Sheehan presenté. Never forgotten.

Man, St. Pete’s was rundown when my dad went here. No matter . Great teachers  like

Mary Sheehan thrive everywhere.

st-p

Paul Ryan the Man who Never Learned

September 9, 2016

Earlier this week, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson, both of Wisconsin, penned an op-ed stating—once again—their belief that charity and individual responsibility are the key to fighting poverty.

What is it with this guy and his Catholic cred?

Oh yeah, big C “pro-life Catholic but not when it comes to post-fetal life in the poor or his constant voting for bloated war budgets.
“This is how you fight poverty: person to person,” they write.

Ryan loves The Joseph project an admirable Milwaukee outreach which provides vans

Claire Markham described this:
To illustrate their point, they tell the story of The Joseph Project, a job assistance program run by the Greater Praise Church of God in Christ in Milwaukee. Ryan and Johnson praise The Joseph Project for providing vans that drive Milwaukeeans to Sheboygan County, where they can earn $15 an hour working a factory job. In Milwaukee, by contrast, these workers would likely earn just $8 or $9 an hour.  The drive is an hour commute each way, but Ryan and Johnson assert: “That van represents the difference between poverty and opportunity.”

Yes, but no support for $15.00 per hour minimum wage.

and no understanding of the quality time lost taking thee workers out of town.

In Sunday school classrooms across the country, young Catholics are taught the simplest versions of the Catholic Church’s complicated theology: God’s love is represented by loving parents, Bible stories are boiled down to picture books, and stewardship of creation is taught by tending to one’s own little plant.  And one Sunday school classic, “The Two Feet of Love in Action,” makes it clear that larger systemic solutions are integral to fighting poverty.
“There are two different, but complimentary, ways we can walk the path of love,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains. “We call these ‘The Two Feet of Love in Action.’” One foot is charity: direct service to help meet the immediate needs of individuals. The other foot is social justice: structural change to end the root causes of poverty.
The van is charity; the minimum wage hike is social justice.

In April 2012 Ryan was taken to the woodshed when as a VP canmdidate he dared use Catholic Social Teaching, in particularly subsidiarity, as the basis of his budget proposal. 50 Catholic theologians and leaders blasted his proposals out of the water.

“Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms,” argue the signatories.

Give Ryan credit, he is not short of chutzpah he then marched over to Georgetown, the Jesuit university to defend the indefensible. Here he was met by a petition of 90 faculty members and administrators basically telling him he was totally out to lunch. They asked Ryan to justify  cuts to social programs which benefit the poor and no cuts to the shocking bloated military budget
Former America editor  Jesuit Fr.Tom  Reese, one of the organizers of the letter bluntly stated . “This is nonsense. As scholars, we want to join the Catholic bishops in pointing out that his budget has a devastating impact on programs for the poor.”

You can bet Ryan never heard of America Magazine

But he sure loves Ayn Rand, the high priestess of capitalism.

 

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Here are a few choice bon mots of Ryan on his literary heroine:

•    “I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people.”

•    “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are.”

•    “It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.”
•    “But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”•
“It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are.”
•    “Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.”

Lots of Ayn Rand little of Jesus and Catholic Social Teaching

Church: thermometer or thermostat?

August 31, 2016

Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

ML King Jr “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” April 16,1963

One of the sad developments over the years has been the loss of power and agency in the institutional Catholic church.

 
While it is inevitable that large institutions run down and in uber-capitalist countries will be co-opted by the culture, there will always be counter-movements fighting against such lassitude. History is full of examples beginning with the early church in the Roman Empire, then the Beguines, Francis of Assisi, Wesley’s challenge to high church Anglicanism, the Catholic Worker. the examples are too numerous to mention. The Church at Vatican ll stated that it was “ecclesia semper reformanda”, a church always in need of renewal.
Today a Vatican ll pope has arrived, a man who understands that the church must be thrust into society as leaven.his theology is focused on Jesus’s call to God’s reign. Too many bishops are still locked into the church as the heart of the gospel. Sadly they resist Pope Francis.  The world today ruled by corporate power will always resist the gospel. Vatican ll reminded us that “we to must shoulder the cross which the world and the flesh inflict on those who search after peace and justice.” As King reminded us the church should not be a thermometer

ML
In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
Birmingham Jail

All of the above and below reminded me of a remarkable student I had in the 80s. John Popiel went on to do significant development in the Dominican Republic and today coordinates the Jesuit Volunteers in Canada.

In the nuclearized 80s I sent out students 2X2 to knock on doors and join the resistance to Canada  testing the Cruise Missile. Johnny came in with  a harrowing tale of some guy running him off his porch , telling him to eff off , saying he was all for testing.

I just laughed and had John read the gospel for that day in home room class.The gospel was Luke 10:5 ff

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.'”If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Earlier the Jesus of Luke gave this advice If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

John was stunned. The gospel had leapt off the page as it always does when we turn it into action. It’s like putting on 3D glasses—you see a new reality.

Chris Hedges recently wrote (below) about an Anglican bishop who basically asked the church to become the leaven, stop mirroring the corrosive culture and take a stand for God’s reign of peace and justice.
Carrying out sustained acts of civil disobedience is the only option left to defy the corporate state, says retired Anglican bishop Packard, who over the years has been arrested at an Occupy Wall Street protest and other demonstrations. It will be a long, difficult and costly struggle the decorated Vietnam vet says. But there are moral and religious laws—laws that call on us to protect our neighbor, fight for justice and maintain systems of life—that must supersede the laws of the state. Fealty to these higher laws means we will make powerful enemies. It means we will endure discomfort, character assassination, state surveillance and repression. It means we will go to jail. But it is in the midst of this defiance that we will find purpose and, Packard argues, faith.

 

PACK
This is the renewed presence of the church, people of spirit wandering around in the darkness trying to find each other,” Packard said to me before he was taken into custody by police during the Montrose protest. He stood holding one corner of a large banner reading, “We Say No to Spectra’s Algonquin Pipeline Expansion.” “When you find a cause that has spine, importance and potency you find the truth of the Scripture. You find it inside your gut. There is an ache in the culture.” Gesturing toward his fellow demonstrators, he added: “These are a few of the people who are speaking to it. This is what the church used to be. It used to be standing in conscience.”

Not a sports bio

August 30, 2016

The late Protestant theologian Langdon Gilkey wrote a stirring memoir about his 2 years in a Japanese POW camp in China Shantung Compound: The Story of Men and Women Under Pressure.

The book makes for depressing reading about the brutality to which humans can sink to.

Gilkey’s book while interesting is doomed to be seen as a simple precursor to Duncan Hamilton’s For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr.

Glory

Long forgotten now Eric Liddell was the Scot who refused to run in the 100 yard dash in the 1924 Paris Olympic games .The reason—the race was scheduled on a Sunday and Liddell was a committed Scottish Congregational believer, the son of a China-hand missioner who simply refused to run on the sabbath.

Liddell probably would have won gold defeating his rather sour pussed rival Harold Abraham. Liddell switched gears and won gold in the 400 metre race gaining international fame.

eric-liddell-running.jpg.size.custom.crop.874x650

Liddell then was off to the China mission like his father before him to serve in the new frontier of the Christian mission.

Hamilton’s brilliantly researched biography goes much deeper than most sports bios. The author catches the essence of this extraordinary human being—his sterling integrity, his compassion and deep rooted faith. Hamilton goes way beyond saccharine piety and mines with brilliant dexterity the evaluations of those who knew Liddell intimately in his life and indeed in his time of trial.

Former biographer Sally Magnusson had this to say about The Flying Scot:

There was surely a pair of clay feet there to be revealed; a few weaknesses to be exposed; perhaps, in such a strong minded man, a streak of spiritual pride, a “holier-than-thou” attitude. But was he really that good? I would ask people. The answer was invariably the same – sometimes apologetic, sometimes pained, sometimes indignant, but always the same: Yes, he was.

The aforementioned Gilkey says of the man he shared life in the Shantung Compound (Liddell worked himself to death never saying no to anybody and ultimately dying at 43 of a brain hemorrhage)

Eric never saw himself as a famous athlete—or rather didn’t look as if he though of himself as one.He was surely the most modest man who ever breathed.this was the secret of his amazing life.”

Liddell was resurrected in popular culture by the 1980 film Chariots of Fire which captures Liddell’s athletic life but utterly fails in its depiction of his extraordinary spiritual life. Well, it’s Hollywood and is probably more famous for its award winning theme by Vangelis.

Magnusson describes his life in these terms:

It is rare indeed when anyone has the good fortune to meet a saint, but he comes as close to it as anyone I have ever known.

This book should be read not as a sports story but rather as a spiritual classic. Hamilton is a well known UK sports journalist but here his brilliance lays in unpacking the interior life of a 20th century saint.

Letters on BDS

August 28, 2016

On Saturday August 27 the Star published several letters about columnist Linda McQuaigs’ shining the light on Elizabeth May’s cowardice in running away from the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement, the nonviolent attempt to use global persuasion instead of violence in bringing Israel to its senses over its 50 year illegal occupation.

MAY^^

Ms.May is a fine woman and should not be singled out among all the other leaders of Canada’s political parties. They are all craven in their refusal to confront Israel over its decades of barbaric behaviour.

Israel of course is the third rail for craven politicians, terrified of offending some Jewish voters. The public is now waking up that many jews like the rest of the public who has studied this issue are horrified at the brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.

Today with the advance of computer technologies and hand held devices Israel can no longer hide its state violence.

DIV

In particular read the final letter of david Bronfman printed here. It is the ultimate in outrageous commentary. To say that BDS is an attempt to delegitimize Israel is a hoary lie. Israel is here to stay. No one wishes it to disappear. But most of us want the apartheid state resembling pre-Mandala South Africa to come to its senses and live up to its many broken promises to the UN and its abject failure to live up  to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights which Israel signed onto at the time of partition.

This sadly is the best that our media can do—allow intelligent citizens to print what its editorial department is unwilling to write. All it would take would be to send one reporter for one month to either Gaza or the West Bank.It would lay bare what no Canadian, Jewish or otherwise, would ever tolerate. So far that journalistic courage has not shown itself.
Re: May shouldn’t run away from boycott, Opinion Aug. 22 
Thank you very much for your publishing Linda McQuaig’s powerful piece. As a Jewish-Canadian, I am deeply concerned about our collective failure to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes, human rights violations and ongoing military occupation of Palestine. Support for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is not only growing among campuses, church and union groups, it is also increasing in our Jewish communities.
Why have we been silent? Why have we not understood that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel. It is, in fact, pro-human rights and taking the collective wisdom of our peoples’ histories of being persecuted. Tragically, we know the impact of global silence in the face of state terror.
Those of use who care deeply about Palestinian human rights were thrilled to see the Green Party take a courageous stand in support of BDS. I am very hopeful that Elizabeth May will support this position. This is not a radical position. It is simply taking a very obvious, peaceful stance against violence.
Unfortunately, people who publicly criticize Israel (including journalists and Jewish people) are subject to violent threats and accusations of anti-Semitism.
Much gratitude to Linda McQuaig for her excellent commentary and her courage to speak out about such an important issue. And thanks to the Star for printing this. Although you will likely receive pushback from pro-Israel folks, please know you that you are giving voice to a position supported by many of us.
Alisa Gayle, Toronto

The problem with Ms McQuaig and her fellow travelers’ support of BDS is that it singles out Israel, not just in the region but amongst the nations of the world, and does nothing to move along the peace process. To say that the solution to the 100-year conflict lies solely on one side can only be rationalized by someone wearing blinders.
Ms May’s thoughtful rejection of supporting this movement should be praised. Ms McQuaig is the one to be admonished for her stance.
Morris Sosnovitch, Toronto

I agree with writer Linda McQuaig. The leader of the Green Party should not only stay but work as hard as ever that her party does not become the hijacked home base of the anti-Israel bashing club that singularly focuses on Israel and excludes all others.
The solidarity with Palestine is all well and fine except that there is only silence for the people of Sudan and Syria who we see slaughtered daily on a scale that is horrific and cruel.
The military occupation over Palestinian lands will end when there is trust and a true commitment in place to build peace based on a two-state solution by both sides. Peace will never flow by punishing and demonizing one side in a complicated two-sided conflict.
Elizabeth May needs to stay to fight for the soul of her party. She needs to ensure that the Green Party remains committed to real principles and not false narratives.
Martin Gladstone, Toronto 

Linda McQuaig’s article presents several incorrect statements and a false narrative. BDS is not a “peaceful way to protest” Israel’s perceived misteps – it is an odious attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel. Palestinians live under Israeli occupation because Jordan refused to stay out of the Six Day War, forcing Israel’s hand to take the West Bank from Jordanian occupation. And the author fails to state that West Bank Palestinian Arabs enjoy far more rights than anywhere else in the Middle East.

David E. Bronfman, Toronto

Desperate Florida Anti BSD

August 25, 2016

dwight_bullard

One would have to be historically challenged not to understand a natural alignment of thought and understanding between American and Canadian blacks

Read on brothers and sisters as the Jewish Thought Police, Florida division, come down on Senator Dwight Bullard

Black Lives Matter and so Palestinian Lives under  occupation.

 

Bullard told The Electronic Intifada that he went on the trip to “develop an understanding” of the Palestinian side that is often missing from the mainstream narrative. He added that he is willing to go on a trip hosted by a pro-Israel group as well, though he is unhappy with the reaction he has received from such groups since his return.
“Had I gone on an AIPAC trip or toured with the [Anti-Defamation League] there would be no outrage or Palestine group protesting outside my office,” argued Bullard, referring to two of the major national pro-Israel lobby groups. “It’s only a news story if you pick the wrong side.”
American lawmakers routinely travel to Israel on delegations hosted by Israel lobbying groups like AIPAC – it’s practically a requirement for politicians at the national level.
Bullard was especially frustrated by the demands from Israel’s supporters that he shut out constituents based on their political views.
“As a public servant I’ve meet with a number of groups that I fundamentally disagree with on 85 percent of issues but I still meet with them. I’m a strong pro-choice advocate but I meet with all the pro-life folks,” he said. “And we go all through it on why I can’t support their issues. I won’t close the door on them.”
The smear campaign against Bullard is just the latest fault line between pro-Israel groups and African American activists and leaders affiliated with the Movement for Black Lives.
Early this month, pro-Israel groups attempted to discipline MBL for expressing solidarity with Palestinians in its platform.

 

dream_defenders_in_jerusalem

The Dream Defenders, which endorsed the MBL platform and whose members helped draft it, strongly denounced the reaction from Zionist groups.
After meeting with Palestinians who support BDS and seeing the repressive conditions they live under, Bullard has come to understand the boycott as part of their struggle for their civil rights.
“I think what people need to do is recognize why an African American would feel a sense of alignment with oppressed people,” said Bullard.
“It’s not just hearing about injustices happening to the Palestinian people. When you see it first hand, that’s a game changer,” he added.

 
“The fact that it was so in your face, you realize your own privilege even in circumstances related to race. We talk about driving while Black [in the US]. The idea that [in Palestine] you have to be carrying a particular ID in order to move freely within spaces in a place that you call home, that stuck with me,” he said.
Bullard was so disturbed by what he witnessed, he felt compelled to wear a kuffiyeh – a Palestinian checkered headscarf – at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month, “to show solidarity with Palestine,” he said.

 
A Jewish Telegraph Agency reporter noticed Bullard’s scarf and snapped a photo of him that was published with a story on Bullard’s trip to Palestine.
“There’s segregation and injustice going on over there,” said Bullard, “and in the words of Dr. King, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Cynical cruelty: administrative detention

August 22, 2016

In a 2010 letter to students urging the University of California to divest from Israel, Bishop Desmond Tutu wrote: “ Despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing…I have been in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”

Linda Mcquaig, Toronto Star, Aug. 22

Admin

The West blinded by celebrity gossip, sports, cowardly journalism and fear of criticizing the apartheid state never writes about Israel’s pride of “no capital punishment.” This of course does not includes targeted assassinations the ability to get rid of people without a fair trial, throws people in prison on outmoded British Mandate “administration detention ” which empowers military commanders in the West Bank to detain a person with no charge for 6 months, then at the whim of the jailer can extend this for another 6 months.
Gideon Levy recently wrote about this cruelty:
One case is like a thousand witnesses: the case of Bilal Kayed. A young man who completed a prison term of 14.5 years – his entire sentence – without a single furlough, without being allowed to at least say goodbye by phone to his dying father; a clear sign of evil. About six weeks ago, Kayed was getting ready for his release. A representative of the Shin Bet security service – one of the greatest agencies of evil in Israel – even showed him a photograph of the home his family had built for him to stir him up even more ahead of his release. And then, as his family waited impatiently for him at the crossing point and Kayed grew ever more excited in his cell, he was informed that he was being thrown into administrative detention for at least another six months, without trial and without explanation. Since then, he has been on hunger strike. He is cuffed to his bed. His family is not allowed to see him. Prison guards never leave his room and the lights are not turned out for a moment. Evil.

I

OK we are a pariah state..what next?

August 18, 2016

On August 7 of this year Israel ‘s Strategic Affairs Ministry Director Sima Vaknin told the Knesset that Israel is is perceived a “pariah state” in the international community,  adding that the ministry intends to reverse this stance in the next decade.

 

This is only news to those who bury their heads in the sand.These  are the National Post and the Toronto Sun who represent the tribe, never the universal ethical values of Judaism. All these are foreign to them.I t’s those damn Palestinians. Israel is always the aggrieved, the victim, never the propagator of egregious crimes. You cannot get to these people. They  would personally never tolerate a day under the incessant Palestinian  occupation.  If course, they have never visited the West Bank or Gaza on the brink of starvation, they are tribalists. They do not have to see. They know.

As a longtime friend of the Jewish community, as indeed as one once honoured by Bnai Brith for my pioneering work in Canada for teaching the Nazi holocaust, I am pained to see Israel descend to such depths. I take no pleasure at all in this. I want Israel to succeed. nobody wins as long as occupation stands

In the last 25 years we have seen the curtain pulled back on the unremitting and callous humiliation of the Palestinian people. With the advent of the internet, cell phones, Facebook et al ,Israel’s cruel brutalization of an indigenous people has become manifest to all people of conscience. For me who grew up in the bosom of the Jewish community it has taken me decades to unravel the mystery of thow he victims of the Nazi genocide could subject the Palestinian people to war criminal policies of mass deportations,, transfer and ethnic cleansing.

POWER

It is heart warming to see so many Jews of conscience speaking against occupation.

it is staggering to see the harassment of teachers like Nadia Shoufani pilloried for appearing in public and virtually parroting Canada’s opposition to Israel’s increasing theft of Palestinian territory.

CRIT

It is embarrassing to see Jewish organizations attempting to shut down the civil rights of a citizen.To B’nai Brith and the Wiesenthal Centre I say Shonda. Shame on you for your disgusting harrassment of a canadian citizen.You need to get in touch with the beautiful deep wells of universal Judaism insteId of a worn out Zionism. You need  to remember the Exodus message (22:21) of not oppressing a foreigner as you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. Your support for the present day  apartheid-like policies of Israel is a form of idolatry with Israel replacing God and Judaism’s universal moral and ethical values.

Call off your crude witch hunts. You are on the wrong side of history. Do everything you can to bring Israel to its senses. Right now you and organizations like AIPAC are doing immense damage to Israel.Nobody wishes to delegitimize Israel. it simply wants the state to live up to its 1948 promise:

It will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

That idealist vision is betrayed daily in Israel. such hollow, hypocritical words.

Nadia Shoufani and Christians like her are merely responding to the call  not only  of Jews of Conscience but the entire Christian leadershp in Palestine who wrote in 2009 (the Kairos document).

KY

Our word is a cry of hope, with love, prayer and faith in God. We address it first of all to ourselves and then to all the churches and Christians in the world, asking them to stand against injustice and apartheid, urging them to work for a just peace.”

We proclaim our word based on our Christian faith and our sense of Palestinian belonging – a word of faith, hope and love.
We declare that the military occupation of Palestinian land constitutes a sin against God and humanity. Any theology that legitimizes the occupation and justifies crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people lies far from Christian teachings.

A pariah state can only be redeemed by ending this cruel occupation not by attacking and scapegoating Canadian citizens who are defending international law and the right to resist oppression.

T